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Alcott recalls making ace at Augusta National

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – LPGA Hall of Famer Amy Alcott isn’t about to tell Augusta National officials whether it’s time they invite their first woman as a member, but she will never forget being toasted by a dining room full of green jackets there 14 years ago.

Alcott cherishes the memory of making a hole-in-one at the 16th hole there and then being serenaded by Clint Eastwood and Augusta National members during a dinner after the round.

“It was just a magical moment for me,” Alcott said Friday while at Mission Hills to watch the Kraft Nabisco and play in her Fresh & Easy charity outing. “I would rank it in my career right there with jumping in Poppie’s Pond for the first time here, with winning the U.S. Women’s Open by nine shots, and now with being named with Gil Hanse to design the first Olympic golf course.  It was thrilling.”

Alcott said she was playing as a guest in a special outing and aced the 16th with a 6-iron to a pin placement on the ridge on the right side of the green.

“Flew it in the cup,” Alcott said. “They call that pin placement slim-and-none and Slim left town.”

Alcott said she remembers an Augusta National member telling her and those in attendance that they didn’t want Alcott’s hole-in-one to be publicized in any way. She said she never really understood why.

“I don’t know if I was the first woman to make a hole-in-one there or what,” Alcott said.

Attention is focused again on Augusta National membership with Virginia Rometty being the first woman named as IBM’s CEO. The development raises the question of whether Rometty will be announced as the club’s first female member. IBM’s CEO has traditionally been a member.

“I would be the last person to tell them what to do,” Alcott said. “You don’t just go up to somebody’s table and pull up a chair. You have to be invited. They have a right as a club to their own rules.”

Alcott said she has played Augusta National twice. She shot a 72 with the hole-in-one. She shot 81 in a round before that.

After the ace, Eastwood led Augusta National members singing “Once in Love with Amy.”

“I will never forget that day,” she said.